What to see on a day trip to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon is an extremely picturesque glacier lagoon in southern Iceland close to the town of Höfn.  Things to do at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon;

  • Floating icebergs in the Lagoon
  • James Bond and Game of Thrones Filming Location
  • Diamond Beach
  • Ice Caves (November to March)
  • Glacier Hikes

There are a few accommodation options in the nearby city of Höfn, also check out airbnb.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon - reflection photography

The lagoon and icebergs come from the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier which is part of the larger glacier, Vatnajökull.  As a matter of fact, Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe by volume and covers 8% of Iceland.  Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit in your lifetime.  You’ll view still blue water and hundreds of unique icebergs.  To add to the beauty, the icebergs form perfect reflections in the blue water.

You will have many photos opportunities from posing with the ice to reflection photography using the lagoon and icebergs.  The sunset is stunning over the glacier lagoon.

Jokulsarlon James Bond

Because of its unique beauty, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon has featured in a few Hollywood movies including;

As a matter of fact, it’s so beautiful that it has featured in 2 Bond movies!  In addition, many episodes of Game of Thrones have been filmed at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

Iceland Instagram Spots

A post shared by James Smith (@onlybyland) on

Of course Jokulsarlon is a top Iceland Instagram spot!  Any location which has featured in 2 James Bond movies must be something special.  Although it’s cold, you’ll see girls in colorful dresses, specifically to pose in front of the lagoon!

Diamond Beach

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon - Diamond Beach

The lagoon flows through a short waterway under a bridge, which is part of Iceland’s route 1 highway and into the Atlantic Ocean.  This black beach is known as Diamond Beach.  You’ll witness a unique site where the glaciers are floating in the ocean as well as some of them washed up on shore.  Observing the icebergs in the ocean is completely different to the calm lagoon.  During the winter months there’ll be hundreds of seals feeding on the fish from the sea which adds to the beauty.

Ice Cave Tours

From November to March you have the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit an Ice Cave.  Although, on the expensive side, it would be a shame to come all this way and not visit!  I recommend you book in advance as the Ice Cave tours are extremely popular.  In fact some claim the caves are more beautiful than the glacier lagoon itself.

Glacier Hike

Glacier hiking is a dream activity for many visitors to Iceland.  There are not many places in the world where you can walk on a glacier.  Additionally, you’ll come away with a wonderful experience as well as stunning photographs!

Jokulsarlon Airbnb

Jokulsarlon is a long way from Reykjavik, as a result there are not many hotels nearby.  The main reason to stay close by to Jokulsarlon is to photograph it at sunset or sunrise.  It’s a beautiful location during the day but add a bit more color and it becomes electric!  Furthermore, you may be photographing the glaciers at night with the Northern Lights in the background.  Alternatively, you may have a tour starting early the next day or finishing late.  For these reasons, I strongly recommend you check out the airbnb options in the area.

Enjoy your visit to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lake

Be sure to check out the visitor center, if not for the information then for the food.  You have the option of delicious chocolate cake for $8, alternatively there’s Icelandic soup for $10.  Although these prices are a little elevated, remember that parking and viewing of Jokulsarlon are free of charge.  Additionally, there are complimentary clean toilets too.  Did I mention that the chocolate cake is delicious?

How to get from Jokulsarlon to Fjallsarlon

A 10 minute drive west on the route 1 ring road will take you to Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon.  You must take note that driving between Höfn and Vik, gas stations are not so common.  For this reason, I recommend filling up before taking the trip as it would be very embarrassing to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere!

Fjallsarlon to Skogafoss

2018-12-31T11:14:56+00:00March 25th, 2017|Iceland, Northern Europe|25 Comments


  1. Ioanna March 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    what a great place, James! Thanks for writing about it! I still haven’t visited Iceland, but I would really love to.. I hope I can do it soon 🙂

    Happy travels!
    Ioanna (A Woman afoot)

  2. Tosh March 26, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Just left me awestruck with images in first place. The Info is short and sweet. To the point. Definitely a bookmark material and the place is added in my bucket list.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Noreen March 26, 2017 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Amazing, look at those chunks of ice! I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland. Hopefully we get to tick it off our list next year!

  4. Charlotte March 27, 2017 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Iceland is on my bucket list! It looks as though there are so many wonderful places to visit and that glacier sure is one of them. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Fábio Inácio March 27, 2017 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Beautiful, I can’t imagine how is a glacier covering 8% of the country.
    A general question about Iceland. Do you think it is possible wild camp there or we need to do this kind of tours? I am asking because I wanted to go there in the sammer and do wild camping near these beautiful places.

    • James Smith March 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      I saw lots of camping options when I was there, in the national parks too. Enjoy!

  6. Suzanne March 27, 2017 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    I still have to make it to Iceland. The landscape definitely makes it a movie director’s paradise. I would love to see those icebergs up close. Must be pretty cold too!

  7. Danni March 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I remember vividly the drive from Hofn to Vik and yes there were not many places to stop- but what incredible views! The ice cave tours in this part of the world are some of the best, I think. Like you say the seals are not easily scared of by visitors, so you can get great snaps.

  8. Bilyana March 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! As a sunset lover, I can imagine what magical sunsets are there. God, I want to see it. Iceland is absolutely one of my top travel destinations. Hope I get the chance to visit it soon.

  9. Vrithi Pushkar March 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    What an amazing destination. Iceland is on our bucket-list. Hopefully we can make it there soon.

  10. Paulina March 27, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    wow those names are quite hard to pronounce hahaha 😉 i liked the tips on floating icebergs in the lagoon. they seem to be the perfect photo motive 🙂

  11. Naomi March 27, 2017 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    Wow I didn’t know it was used for the Bond movies! What a cool detail is that. I love that bad ass truck too! I wonder what it’s like to drive that LOL!

  12. Jennifer March 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    This landscape would definitely suit James Bond and Tomb Raider. Icebergs are so powerful – in a quiet strength kind of way. Iceland keeps moving higher up my bucket list.

  13. Nicole Anderson March 27, 2017 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I have a friend that has been to Iceland and she shared wonderful photos she took while there. The ones you have featured here are also stunning and as a keen camper, hiker and amateur photographer, I just can’t wait to get there to see and experience it for myself.

  14. Hallie March 28, 2017 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Good to know about the gas stations. Wouldn’t want to get caught out there without a vehicle that works I think. Looks so awesome though.

  15. Rosie Benton March 28, 2017 at 2:55 am - Reply

    We visited Iceland about 3 years ago and barely touched the surface, so desperate to get back. You’ve got some awesome photos! So crazy to think that a glacier covers 8% of the country!! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Stephanie Fox March 28, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

    I always love seeing how clear and blue the water of Iceland is, would love to explore an ice cave! Hotels seem so expensive but Air BNB is a great tip!

  17. Katie March 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    The iceberg lagoon is one of my favorite places in Iceland, it’s so unique. I love that you can see all the stages of the icebergs traveling out to sea, from breaking off the glacier to floating in the lagoon then traveling down the stream to the ocean. Beautiful!

  18. Ivy March 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I’ve been wanting to visit Iceland for the longest time, especially after seeing all these blog posts about it! This is actually my first time reading about Jökulsárlón. What an amazing landscape and that’s neat that the Bond movies were filmed here!

  19. Claire March 28, 2017 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Your pictures are brilliant, I would absolutely love to visit here. Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to when I was in Iceland but I must go back! Love this guide!

  20. Brenda March 30, 2017 at 3:56 am - Reply

    Whoa! The place looks gorgeous! Is this where those white scenes of GoT were shot? Wow! Glaciers washed ashore and seals feeding on fish must be such a beautiful thing to watch!!!

  21. Winnie April 2, 2017 at 5:20 am - Reply

    Iceland is one of the places in my bucketlist. Thanks for providing the info and the photos are amazing!

  22. Rachel April 5, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

    This looks so epic!!! I didn’t know about the James Bond connection! Awesome landscapes.

  23. May October 27, 2017 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    all booked to go next month and found this post really interesting 🙂

    • James Smith October 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      enjoy your trip May

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